Sunday, January 27, 2019

My Dollars Count

I read Carolyn's post about the pattern designers defending their refusals to make patterns for the plus size community. I started out trying to add a comment to her post but it turned into a post here. I'm at a point in my life where it is easy to support my sewing habits. I spend my money where I feel valued. I read the comments on SBCC’s IG account from designers defending their position and I’m going to call it BS. I had to stop reading the comments because it is frustrating and offensive to be dismissed because I wear a size larger than 18.
There is well-documented research that plus size women are willing to spend money on clothing. ModCloth is an example, they made $18,000 at their beginning. They are now grossing $150 million. They are so successful that Walmart purchased them in 2017.  Lane Bryant, Eloquii, Avenue and others are examples of successful companies catering to plus size market demands.  I read an article that Modcloth’s plus size customers account for 8% of their customer base but outspend the traditional size customers by 7%.   
Hot Patterns and Cashmerette are two successful small pattern companies that cater to the plus size community. If companies are trying to say that the market is not there to support their R&D, again I’m going to call it BS. If you only want to market your product to the smaller sizes then be honest. No one has issues with niche marketing but be honest about it.  You can’t complain about the size of your business if you are not working to meet market demands.  It is disrespectful to be happy when sewists post about grading up their patterns but complain about the work of developing plus size slopers.

Sewing is not an inexpensive journey when you are plus size, I use more fabric and notions that others. I know that this is the price that I pay to make my own clothing. It is frustrating to look at the size range for a pattern and know that it needs more grading that I’m willing to do with my limited sewing time. I use a computer drafting program but sometimes I don't want to design a pattern. More and more, I’m buying Lekala patterns because I can find patterns that fit my lifestyle. I don’t have a problem with making changes to get the fit that I want and need. Even with Lekala patterns, I have to make a few adjustments. 
Sometimes, I find Indie patterns frustrating because the focus seems to be more casual garments. I'm looking for patterns that I can use for work clothes. I want patterns that challenge my skills and that is not easy to find.
Learning to fit patterns is an ongoing education. LaSewista just posted a two-part series about fitting  Standards of Fit. She pulled together some great information and resources that I can learn from as I continue to learn about fitting. 

Needless to say, I'm going to spend my money where I feel valued and buy patterns that cater to my needs. 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

2019 - Welcome To My World, Happy New Year

Last April, I was getting ready to go on a cruise and decided that I didn't want to wear black. I didn't want to look like I was going to a funeral on a Carribean cruise. I went searching through the stash and the blue fabrics won and blue became one of my core colors. I sewed a lot during the summer but have slowed down over the last few months. I wore a lot of the me-made garments and loved what I made. The biggest disappointment was the denim knit fabric from Mood. I made multiple garments using this fabric and it started pilling as soon as I finished sewing the group. Everything is packed away waiting for warm weather. 

Stitcher's Guild 2019 SWAP has started. One of my goal for this year is to complete a collection. You are required to use two neutral colors. I picked blue and red. The other garments can consist of 1-5 accent colors. I suck at sticking to a plan so I decided to make a group of coordinating garments. At the end of the challenge, I'll try to pick out a cohesive collection that meets the rules.

Christine Jonson Pick One, Sew Two posted a wardrobe building concept that didn't make me feel intimidated. You start with one garment and sew two coordinating garments. She has a PDF document that you can use to plan your group. Instead of starting with a garment, I decided to start with blue silk for a blouse. When I went to cut it out, I found a stain so it has to be pre-washed again. I cut out a long sleeve turtleneck and a cardigan from a navy blue modal knit that's been in the stash for a few months. Yesterday, I cut out a 10 gore knee length skirt for a muslin. I used PMB to draft all of the patterns. 

I have a stretch navy blue wool crepe suiting that I bought for the swap. Most of the fabrics that I need will be coming from the stash except for the inspiration fabric.  There were a few things that I needed to start sewing. I found my stretch lining at A Fabric Place last weekend.  The other stuff that I needed was elastic from FSS and thread from Wawak.  The only thing that I missed ordering was seam binding. I still need to check to see if I need anything for the red group. 

One requirement was to pick a print that spoke to you for your inspiration. I looked for a couple of weeks before I found what I was looking for. I found quite a few fabrics and pictures that inspired me but all of them were too dark. My focus is a spring/summer collection so I wanted a lighter print for my inspiration.  I finally found a print at that spoke to me. This is a knit that I will use for a blouse.